M’sians Urge Early Sexual Education For Youths To Avoid Sexual Misconduct & Unplanned Pregnancies

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source: Australian Institute of Family Studies

As time goes by, sexual harassment prevails as a common heinous crime in Malaysia. This has raised the concern of citizens, particularly in cases where the perpetrator takes advantage of the innocence of school-going children.

Last year, a teacher was charged with 32 counts of sexual acts against seven male students in Tapah.

source: NST

Whereas a 2016 report by NST shows that Malaysian kids as young as 14 were being groomed online by pedophiles located in the US and UK, mainly to record obscene videos, showing that these crimes are not limited to physical or face-to-face invasions.

Many victims were incognisant to the nature of the crime until years later.

In other cases, students turn to their peers to unleash their curiosity.

One popular case was an incident that took place last year where two 7-year-old Malaysian students were caught having oral sex in the school toilet. The boy said that he had witnessed his parents engaging in the act beforehand.

Another instance that gained attention from the public was when 17-year-old, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam posted a TikTok on the rape culture in Malaysia, publicly addressing her teacher’s distasteful joke that he made while the class was discussing sexual abuse laws at a secondary school in Puncak Alam.

According to her, he advised his students that if they intend to rape someone, they should first ensure that their victim is above 18 years of age.

She expressed disgust over his statement, and many viewers agreed that condoning such ‘jokes’ was normalising rape culture.

Netizens have since voiced out their beliefs regarding this issue, mainly that educating the youth about coital matters could help prevent these crimes, and aid children in drawing a distinction between a predator and a friend.

Many are in agreement with studies showing that sexual and reproductive education, including contraceptives and abortions, are almost inaccessible to our youth and rather shunned as a taboo topic.

Others have taken to their social media platforms to protest against practices such as child marriage.

According to RAGE, in Malaysia approximately 18,000 underage girls are impregnated each year.

Additionally, Malaysiakini reports that the Health Ministry conducted a survey in 2015 which found that a whopping 35% of Malaysian girls did not believe that first-time sex could result in pregnancy, and one in five Malaysians thought that mosquitoes were capable of carrying sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar.

In November last year, the ‘Chup! Jom Sembang Seks’ virtual townhall took place, where Dr Rashed, a representative for UNICEF in Malaysia, said that it has become an urgency for the entire community to come together and curb these issues, offering safe spaces for children to ask questions without being ostracized, especially in modern times where children can pick up on sexual content easily on the Internet.

The current age of consent in Malaysia is sixteen years old.

We as citizens should unitedly work against the societal limitations and regulations that do not serve to protect our security. As a nation, we should feel obliged to take the necessary measures needed to provide a safer environment for ourselves and upcoming generations.